There’s so much these days about living “radically.” It seems like every day I read about someone having “radical” faith. Or I hear a story about someone taking “radical” steps towards showing the world who Jesus really is. Or I listen to a sermon about how to live like a “radical.”
And I get the point. Really, I do.
There does indeed come a time when we followers of Jesus have to stop feasting on God’s word and start living it. None of what we read in scripture really matters if we don’t ever put skin on it.
But I also have to say this . . . the “radical” stuff can put pressure on those of us who are called to live the life of a quiet servant.
I know exactly what authors like David Platt (who wrote a book called Radical ) are saying: we must stop checking boxes and going through the motions and start doing things that aren’t always popular. Go feed the homeless. Give money to help the poor. Volunteer at the local food bank.
Living “radically” is more about listening to the Holy Spirit and less about doing what’s comfortable and safe.
The Holy Spirit within some says to sell everything, travel the country and teach people about Jesus. The Holy Spirit within others might nudge them to begin a GMO in Africa. And the Holy Spirit in some might say to spend a month on the streets of Skid Row in Los Angeles so they can get to know the homeless and help them stand up again.
All wonderful, amazing work for the kingdom.
But what about the person who’s Holy Spirit calls them to wipe up yet another spill of milk during dinner? What about the woman who’s called to work long hours, pick up her children, make dinner, help with homework, give baths and put everyone to bed, only to take the time that should be for herself to pack lunches and get organized for the next day so she can do it all over again?
There is so much radical in all of this if we see it for what it really is: serving God through the seemingly insignificant things we do every single day to show His love to others.
Not everyone is called to sell everything and travel all around the world. Not everyone is called to Africa to work with orphans. And not everyone is called to sleep on the streets with the homeless.
Thank God. Literally.
Because if we all had the same calling, a whole lot would get done in one specific area and nothing would get done anywhere else.
Can I be so bold to tell you something, tired friend?
What we do, cleaning the spilled milk, refereeing a myriad of bickering, tucking-in and reading stories, is radical. In fact, it’s beyond radical.
The definition of radical is “relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough.”
Unfortunately, we live in an era where the family unit is continually in danger. Healthy families are no longer the norm.
When you pack a lunch for your husband, help with long division, go to the grocery store, clock-in hours on the job or anything else you do to serve those you love, you are affecting the fundamental nature of something – your family. And most of it is very far-reaching and thorough.
You, my friend, are living radically.
So if you read about the missionary who lives an exciting life in New Guinea or feel like you’ll never make a difference in the world the way someone who has sold all of their possessions will, think again, sister.
You’re radical. Take that family unit back and love them well.
Now that’s some serious fundamental change.
Part Two of living a radical life will continue on Thursday . . .
That was so beautifully said Natalie. Thank you for the reminder that school drop-offs, packing lunches, getting all my people to and fro with love and grace is exactly what I’m called to do in this stage of life!! Thank you for again speaking truth!!
Thank you Natalie! I definitely needed this today. Sometimes I have felt guilty that I had never wanted to go “to the ends of the earth.” But, I do think my place right now is at home. I am that mama who you described as working all day, coming home, working more, and getting ready to do it all again tomorrow. That is my life. And this is the Lord’s calling for me right now. :)
oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh! THIS is exactly what I was trying to ‘defend’ myself with in talking to a friend that was sitting in my salon chair just a few minutes ago! I said these exact words, “I’m just not radical enough!” I love Jesus from head to toe, inside and out, I try to live for Him and about Him with whatever I do in life, I also want to pay my mortgage and get out of debt, to stay home with my babies, to live this what might be considered boring and complacent. I have sisters who live ‘radically’ and I have never been able to measure up. It’s a tough one to fight in your head because in my heart I know where I stand with Jesus and feel peace about who I am in Him. It’s a way for Satan to convince me to just want to go hide under a rock. I’ve just come out from years of feeling like I was best to live under a rock. Realized……It’s a lie from the pit, and just am starting to come out from under the rock and LIVE again.
Awesome, Marlece! Don’t you love when God speaks to us so intimately? Proof how well He knows our hearts, right? Radical for one person looks very different on another person. And yeah…if you live under a rock, then you can’t do much for the kingdom, right? YOU have all kinds of influence just by your compassionate heart and the love that so comes across in you. Silence the lies, friend! Thank you for sharing your heart, my friend.